Gov. Signs Bill Allow Towns to Delay Property Tax Deadlines, Take Out/Delivery Alcohol from Restaurants; Cases Jump 1,400 in Mass.

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Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation Friday that gives cities and towns the ability to relax property tax deadlines and also allows restaurants to sell beer and wine for take out or delivery.

The restaurants must already have a license to sell alcohol to take advantage of this new provision, according to the story on WCVB Channel 5. The person receiving the alcohol must be 21 or older and an alcohol must be part of an order that includes food.

The bill also allows municipalities to delay the due date for property tax by one month. The City of Springfield has already delayed its property tax deadline from May 1 to June 1, according to

The latest property tax bill in Watertown is currently due on May 1, 2020.

Along with the property tax deadline provision, it also allows cities and towns to allow permits to stay in place because municipal boards may not be able to meet due to efforts to social distance.

New Cases Jump, New Testing Efforts

Watertown saw the number of positive Coronavirus causes jump by 10 to 51 on Friday. Statewide, the number increased by the most in one day, 1,436, and eclipsed the 10,000 case mark. Massachusetts now has 10,402 positive tests for COVID-19.

Along with the new cases, 38 deaths from the virus were reported on Friday in the Mass. Department of Public Health’s update.

Gov. Baker announced Friday that the State will start new efforts for testing first responders and to track the disease.

On Sunday, a Coronavirus testing site for first responders will open at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

“The test will be provided to police officers, firefighters and other public safety personnel and it is free of charge,” said Baker, according to WBZ Channel 4. Up to 200 tests will be administered a day.

The governor also spoke of an effort to trace people who have come into contact with those that have tested positive for COVID-19. The state hopes to have the program staffed and operating by the end of April, according to the Boston Globe.

“What we’re doing here today is the beginning of breaking of new ground in the fight against COVID-19,” Baker said, calling the program unique in the nation. “We need to get out ahead of this, and do everything we possibly can here in Massachusetts to deal with COVID-19 through and in the aftermath of the surge.”

The group will have about 1,000 tracers and will include a call center. The staff will get contact information from peoples who tested positive for people they came into contact. The tracers will then reach out to the contacts to see if they are healthy and encourage them to self-quarantine.

The state is teaming up with Partners in Health, a locally based organization that has worked in areas touched by diseases such as Ebola.

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